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Towson

‘I’m glad that it’s back’: Towsontown Festival returns for 53rd year after two-year break

The food, fun and music of the Towsontown Festival was renewed Saturday as thousands took to the streets of Towson for the event, which was canceled the last two years because of COVID-19.

Towson Chamber of Commerce director Nancy Hafford said the event is one of the area’s most-remembered traditions.

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“They get to see what a wonderful and friendly town we have,” Hafford said. “The vibe is so energetic because people are so grateful to have an opportunity to get back out there again.”

This weekend’s event features more than 200 vendors, carnival rides, games, live music, diverse ranges of food and unique arts and crafts.The festival continues Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m.

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The Towsontown Spring Festival started 55 years ago as the Towsontown Art Exhibit. It was held in the Baltimore County Courtyard and in 1968, it joined the Bicentennial Celebration. Additionally, this festival is the largest event in Towson and one of the largest in the Mid-Atlantic, Hafford said.

The festival typically has 200,000 people attend, Hafford said. During the festival weekend, bars and restaurants are filled while hotels are completely booked, Hafford said. The festival supports a total of 171 jobs, $13 million in revenue, $4.4 million in wages and $1.1 million in local tax revenue on the annual basis, according to the Towson of Chamber of Commerce’s statistics.

“The environment is great. You just cannot beat it,” Gilbert Cox, who has attended the festival for 20 years. “I would describe this as a fantastic festival. I’m glad that it’s back.”

This year’s event also featured the reveal of three electric RADCity bicycles from the Towson precinct of the Baltimore County Police Department.

The bikes are being utilized nationwide by police departments, said Baltimore County Police Department Precinct Commander Deanna L Chemelli. They will allow officers to better serve their communities, provide quicker response times in central Towson and enhance community engagement, Chemelli said.

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During the planning process for this year’s festival, vendors and the Towson Chamber of Commerce struggled to find help to run the event, Hafford said.

It takes more than 100 people to run the festival, Hafford said. Struggling to meet that number, the chamber worked with many schools and organizations like Calvert Hall for help, yet six vendors had to drop out because they lacked staffing, Hafford said.

But vendors on hand were pleased to participate and said the process to get a booth was affordable and easy.

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“We love coming to the Towson fest,” said Caroline Hill from Art by Barton. “I have been doing this for six years, and it has gotten bigger every year.”

For more information, visit https://www.towsontownfestival.com. The Towson Chamber of Commerce will hold its second largest event on July 4, 2022 for the Fourth of July parade.


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